Thoughts on the Lionel ZW-C Transformer??? - Model Train Forum - the complete model train resource
Model Train Forum - the complete model train resource

Go Back   Model Train Forum - the complete model train resource > Scale Specific Model Train Forum > O Scale
Forgotten your password?

O Scale Atlas, Bachman, Hornby, K-Line, Lionel and classic toy train discussion.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-05-2019, 08:34 AM   #1
Jeff T
Dispatcher
 
Jeff T's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 1,737
Scales Modeled: Nothing modeled, O gauge trains though
Thoughts on the Lionel ZW-C Transformer???

I found a guy locally selling a deceased brothers collection on Craigslist. I picked up a TMCC S-2 switcher NIB for $100 but he had a few other items.

I spotted a ZW-C that he thought was NIB.

I currently have an old ZW, new cord, rollers and breaker, a CW-80 and a Z-1000.

Wondering what those with more knowledge than I think of the ZW-C.

Thanks!
__________________
LCCA
North Central O Gaugers
Jeff T is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 12-05-2019, 09:19 AM   #2
gunrunnerjohn
Admin
 
gunrunnerjohn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: SE-PA, USA
Posts: 42,682
Scales Modeled: O-gauge 3-rail
Images: 3
I'd pass on this one. If you really want a Lionel transformer, consider the ZW-L. Also, if it comes with the 135W bricks, they have a lousy circuit breaker.

For the money for a ZW-C and bricks, you could also look at the MTH Z-4000, a much better transformer.
__________________
MTH ASC Certified Tech, Factory Authorized Lionel Service, ERR Dealer
gunrunnerjohn is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2019, 10:52 AM   #3
Bryan Moran
Conductor
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Des Moines Iowa
Posts: 466
Scales Modeled: O Scale
Yes I just ponied up and got the Z-4000. I love it.

I trust GNJ comments on the Lionel products.
Bryan Moran is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Old 12-05-2019, 10:57 AM   #4
Jeff T
Dispatcher
 
Jeff T's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 1,737
Scales Modeled: Nothing modeled, O gauge trains though
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Moran View Post
Yes I just ponied up and got the Z-4000. I love it.

I trust GNJ comments on the Lionel products.
As do I!!
__________________
LCCA
North Central O Gaugers
Jeff T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2019, 11:31 AM   #5
Norton
Station Master
 
Norton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 2,781
Scales Modeled: HO, 3R 1/48
The club had a couple of ZW-Cs. Not sure they ever worked right. We binned them for Z4000s. If you start looking at Z4000s make sure they are not made during the first couple years (late '90s). The date is at the back right corner referenced to the front. The boards can fail on those and replacements are NLA. They changed the design for the ones after that.

Pete
Norton is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2019, 06:03 PM   #6
Jeff T
Dispatcher
 
Jeff T's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 1,737
Scales Modeled: Nothing modeled, O gauge trains though
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norton View Post
If you start looking at Z4000s make sure they are not made during the first couple years (late '90s). The date is at the back right corner referenced to the front. The boards can fail on those and replacements are NLA. They changed the design for the ones after that.

Pete
Thanks for the heads up Pete!!
__________________
LCCA
North Central O Gaugers
Jeff T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2019, 08:11 PM   #7
gunrunnerjohn
Admin
 
gunrunnerjohn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: SE-PA, USA
Posts: 42,682
Scales Modeled: O-gauge 3-rail
Images: 3
Good point Pete, I know that the NJ-HR have some antiques up there, I wonder if they've run into that issue.
__________________
MTH ASC Certified Tech, Factory Authorized Lionel Service, ERR Dealer
gunrunnerjohn is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2019, 08:34 PM   #8
Norton
Station Master
 
Norton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 2,781
Scales Modeled: HO, 3R 1/48
When our club went to Z4000s we started out with two older ones. When the first one broke I was able to find the problem and fix it. When the second one died, I was not so lucky. Not having any schematics didn't help and I have no connection with MTH so no help there. We sent it to a local MTH service guy and he gave us the bad news. A new board plus his time would come to about 200 bucks. It lasted another year and died again. Thats when we found out replacements were NLA. Both were dated within a few months of the first release of the Z4000s. I think any made after around 2002 should be OK assuming it wasn't abused.

Pete
Norton is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2019, 11:08 PM   #9
santafe158
Dispatcher
 
santafe158's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Posts: 2,355
Scales Modeled: O, HO, N
My ZW-C does the job OK. I put a new chip in the controller unit from Lionel that supposedly helps some compatibility issues when operating with the Legacy system (would randomly act like I pushed the "halt" button previously). I like the idea of it, but the internal gearing for the control handles is pretty flimsy and all plastic. The gears on the left side of mine really like to skip teeth if you move the handle too fast (if you can call it fast). It's serving Christmas duty on my public layout where I rarely have to touch the controls. When I do run trains there I run it in command mode and the handles aren't a problem.

I broke down and splurged on a ZW-L a couple months ago and I've been very happy with it. It's doing Christmas tree duty right now here at home and, knock on wood, I haven't had any issues with it. The control handles seem a lot sturdier than the ZW-C and I love the self contained aspect of it. The separate bricks of the ZW-C aren't awful, but it is a lot of wires to keep organized.
__________________
Jake
___________________

My Youtube Channel
santafe158 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2019, 11:27 PM   #10
beachhead2
Conductor
 
beachhead2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 391
Scales Modeled: O, Std. Gauge
I have a ZW-C that I bought NIB for $250. I figured the PH180's were worth about that much. Turns out I never used it. I took the PH180's out of the box and I use those. But I don't use the head unit.

So if the ZW-C you are looking at comes with the PH180's , as long as you can get it for $250 or less, then why not? If the head unit bricks, no big deal.
beachhead2 is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


» Visit These Sites:
LGB World

Or Our European Train Website ModelRailForum




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:05 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.